Winston Ely is chief of design and creative director at WE Design, a Brooklyn-based firm specializing in innovative, buildable design solutions for cities, landscapes, and the built environment. He also owns WE Build, a small-scale construction company and WE Develop, a real estate development company where architecture drives the practice of creating meaningful places for people to live, play and work.

Winston graduated with a BA in Art and Environmental Design from the University of Vermont and received his MArch from the University of Oregon. Winston is a seasoned practitioner and problem solver with over twenty years in the design, construction and real estate development business. By integrating sustainable construction methods with close attention to material detail, Winston provides thoughtful, compelling solutions to meet a wide range of design challenges. As one of the green infrastructure fellows for the Design Trust for Public Space’s El-Space project, he is developing strategies and testing materials and built systems for collecting and harnessing the storm water runoff from elevated highways and rail lines. 

Winston’s development portfolio includes two multifamily buildings in Brooklyn and a single-family estate in Greenport, on the North Fork of Long Island. These complex projects are Winston’s experimental design laboratory for testing new materials, building systems and sustainable strategies. His Greenport project included an oyster farm and wetland restoration plan as part of a living breakwaters project to mitigate coastal flooding.